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I can't black out!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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misterlizard

Tom Arnold
Oct 11, 2002
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Hi,
This might sound kinda weird, but I would quite like to experience a blackout (dry of course). I figure if I have experienced one, or even just a samba, it would help me to know when one is near and thus help to avoid having one.
However, I have never had a samba or a blackout even though when doing static training I often push myself pretty hard. I find that the urge to breath becomes so strong after about a minute of contractions that I can do nothing to stop it or it'll get too painful. Does anybody else have this? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
 

CEngelbrecht

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2002
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Don't consider that a failure, and it's silly to wish for experiencing either samba or blackout. It's not necessary to try it out to enjoy your freediving or to establish your personal limits, and if your body reacts the way it does, then by all means groom that constellation. Come up when your body tells you to, it's the best, safest and natural way to dive. And if your hear freedivers bragging about their many sambas and blackouts and cardiac arrests, just think of them as morons, that's what the rest of us do. Sambas and blackouts does not have to be a part of one's freediving to improve in levels. And if you should one day be unfortunate and suffer an incident, then by God don't let it happen on purpose just because you want to try it out. That's borderline hubris, if you ask me.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
 
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AltSaint

Pipe and Flippers
Dec 29, 2002
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...and if Chris still hasn't persuaded you, then follow these five easy steps:

1. Enter a competition
2. Overtrain in the run-up to your event
3. See if you can pick up some bug or illness for good measure
4. Oversubscribe your capabilities, and go for a PB or even a national record
5. If you're doing statics, make sure you have as many people watching you as possible.

Wobble guaranteed.
 

misterlizard

Tom Arnold
Oct 11, 2002
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Originally posted by CEngelbrecht
Don't consider that a failure, and it's silly to wish for experiencing either samba or blackout. It's not necessary to try it out to enjoy your freediving or to establish your personal limits, and if your body reacts the way it does, then by all means groom that constellation. Come up when your body tells you to, it's the best, safest and natural way to dive. And if your hear freedivers bragging about their many sambas and blackouts and cardiac arrests, just think of them as morons, that's what the rest of us do. Sambas and blackouts does not have to be a part of one's freediving to improve in levels. And if you should one day be unfortunate and suffer an incident, then by God don't let it happen on purpose just because you want to try it out. That's borderline hubris, if you ask me.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen

Absolutely my friend, couldn't agree more. It's not that I want to blackout in order to brag about it, of course that would be nothing short of idiotic. My point is that I wonder why I can't push my breath-hold far enough to samba. Is it just that I don't know how to control my contractions properly? I wonder if I am actually able to hold my breath for longer than I am currently doing but that I don't control my urge to breath properly. Of course I don't actually want to blackout but I wonder why it hasn't ever happened. And of course I never push myself too far when in the water - all of this is on dry land on my nice comfy futon!
 

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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misterlizard,

i don't think this is a particularly helpful thing to do. i would just keep going the way you have - with no sambas or BOs. if you discovers your limits in this way then you'll probably be tempted to stray closer and closer to them each time to improve your performance - this will probably lead to more inadvertent sambas and BOs...

i always try to improve by increasing my potential with constant effort, rather than by increasing effort with constant potential.
 

cebaztian

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2003
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I must of course add my piece of good judgment and say something sensible in the same line as the others.
Silly you! BO and LMC are an abuse to your body and should be avoided!

Having said that let me say that I know what you are after. We all have different reasons for freediving. One of the reasons for me is understanding myself - physicly and mentally.
I have quite offensivly explored my limits and one thing that happened early on was that beyond the "pain" in static I sometimes "fell asleep" - and I woke up in my watchers arms. Since then I have with mixed results tried to avoid that.
http://www.fridykning.se/freediving/features/breathhold.html

Then I reasoned as you did; lets explore the border and see whats there in order to recognize it;
http://www.fridykning.se/freediving/features/samba.html

One thing I learnt was that I did not want to do it again. I still hold it probable that LMC can deteriorate your brain. In what way I dont know - and no one has proved it yet. (I was part of a study in Sweden recently where they looked for one certain sideeffect - but did not find it).

Anyhow - dry LMC and BO is easy (dont try this at home kids) - and have someone watch you.

1) Waste a lot of oxygen (jump upp and down)
2) Hyperventilate.
3) hold you breath.
4) fall over

And make sure you learn something from it - becasuse it might not be healthy.

Take care
Sebastian
 

AltSaint

Pipe and Flippers
Dec 29, 2002
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A lot revolves around your body's tolerance to C02. There are several ways to increase this tolerance, but it gets to the extent where this tolerance becomes greater that your body's other tolerance to hypoxia.

When this happens, that's when the lights go out.

Another reason to not get to that stage, is that ( to my limited understanding ), your body can also get used to Samba, so that if you do it regularly, your body will do it progressively earlier. Nobody wants that.

I may not be correct on this last point, as I only recently heard it, but it sounds feasible to me.
 

CEngelbrecht

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2002
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Originally posted by misterlizard
My point is that I wonder why I can't push my breath-hold far enough to samba. Is it just that I don't know how to control my contractions properly? I wonder if I am actually able to hold my breath for longer than I am currently doing but that I don't control my urge to breath properly. Of course I don't actually want to blackout but I wonder why it hasn't ever happened. And of course I never push myself too far when in the water - all of this is on dry land on my nice comfy futon!

Well, I have the exact same problem, but I see it as a bless. My body tells me when the fun is over, and so I listen to it. That it have never happened to you, even in dry conditions, just means that you have a natural system that takes care of you.

I can tell you about the one time I have suffered a samba. It was in competition, the weather suddenly turned bad, I hadn't drunk enough, half the boat was seasick, some cancelled on their dives. I should have done the same, especially since I threw up in the water a few minutes before my dive! All of this should have told me to listen to my body and give up on the day, but no, for some reason I thought the macho crap 'if it goes, it goes'.
Now, when I'm on my way up with the tag I know it's going to go wrong. The weird thing is I'm not really scared because I trust the safety arrangement, so somehow I take the time to 'study' the phenomenon everyone is talking so much about, samba, blackout, all of the stuff I have never tried because I can't help listening to my body when I dive, a safety system I now have to overrule because I'm in the middle of a dive that I should never have started in the first place.
When I suddenly feel myself loosing control of my breath and little spurts of air comes out, I get a sort of 'cold feeling of death' somewhere in my mind. I get the thought: "This is it? This is what all the blabla is about? This is disgusting. I got the grim reaper licking my back here, I don't want this. How can anyone put themselves through this deliberately just for the sake of training? I'm drowning here, for f... sake! Nobody needs to dive like this."
I'm still five meters from the surface here. From then on and to just below the surface, I have absolutely no images. Then when I brake the surface I remember being wide awake all the time and breathing a couple of times, I remember wavering out to the side holding the rope, before the safety freediver graps me and keeps my head clear of the water.

I really, really, really can't recommend the samba/blackout stuff under any circumstances. Just dive the natural way you've always done, and don't think it's mistake that you can't push yourself beyond the signals of your body (treasure it , for Pete's sake). If something happens to you or a buddy by accident, then take measures beforehand to provide adequate safety. It's gotta be fun to freedive.

Chris Engelbrecht, Copenhagen
 
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portinfer

Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
1,327
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Joe
I think Eric Fattah posted something about this :

Once you have blackedout you are more likely to in the future.

I may be wrong but from what I remember it might be like creating a new path in the brain which once built means that the likely hood of the brain using that path again is high.

But I could be wrong...(no doubt eric can verify this)

I blacked out (wet - see post in newbie forum) and it is not a very pleasant experience....

How long are your breath holds at the moment ?

Ed
 

Ben Gowland

Aplysia gowlandicus
Apr 4, 2002
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Cat amongst the pigeons

Well - I'm going to disagree with most above and actually side with Tom's original post.

Whilst I do not advocate regular samba/BO, I certainly think that you CANNOT know your limits until you have surpassed them. In this respect, having a couple of samaba will show you that:

You were very, very close to your limit and may benefit from pushing a bit less, or

You are a long way from your potential and may be missing out on some extra safe dive time. In which case you may want to learn to breathe up in a different way, or practice your CO2 tolerance.

With regards to 'not being able to samba'......you mustn't be trying hard enough!

:D

That was a joke, by the way - For god's sake don't take that literally.....
 

misterlizard

Tom Arnold
Oct 11, 2002
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Thanks everybody for all your replies. That's what I love about these forums - everybody's so helpful and non-judgemental. :)
What I think you have made me realise is that God gave me a wonderfully designed safety system to guard against blackout and of course to push my body past it's limits is not healthy and just generally not a good idea. My dry static pb is currently 4:10 but I am hoping to get that above the magic 5:00 within the coming 6 months.
My love is being underwater and I don't really care for competitive stuff very much (although I wouldn't mind having a go in a competition one day). My favourite feeling is being about 15m down in clear water and feeling 100% comfortable and relaxed. The only reason I do statics is so that I can extend my bottom time for when I'm in the water, and so that I have something freediving-related to do at home when I can't actually go freediving!
Thanks again for all your advice guys, keep it coming... :)
 

donmoore

New Member
Aug 19, 2002
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For me trying to learn the feeling before black out dry would not translate well to wet blackout. I have BO twice wet and never dry, but have had a few sambas dry. Dry is a more painful breathhold for me than wet, so if I try to duplicate the pain and feeling of dry as my ending pointing wet, I’m gone! :ko
don
 
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